WENDY WILLIAMS GETS TOASTED
Shock Jock Diva Becomes Face of Alize & Turns "The Wendy Williams Experience" Into A Stage Show
We got started late, but the function was to go to 2 am at the elegant Gotham Hall in NYC so we weren't worried about missing much. The occasion: introducing gossip guru and sometime Wendy Williams as the new face of the liquor brand Alize. Wow! What a night. Loved Keyshia Cole, who was the musical entertainment. She was great as she performed her song "Love." Wendy Williams, as always was unpredictable. What we didn't expect was to see Williams, who has unabashedly adopted the tag "Queen of All Media," looking like she was caught unprepared. Her hair stylist must have been rushing, and it seemed like she just threw on her outfit--some type of black shirt and pants with white boots. We expected her to be glammed up for the hometown crowd. But anyway, she spent most of her time on the mic thanking people and encouraging folks to drink Alize. We aren't sure how this particular branding hookup came about, but Williams has been unstoppable lately, what with the talks of her and other notable media folk starting an Urban gossip mag. And now she's following the latest trend--taking a radio or TV talk show and turning it into a live stage show. That's what she'll be going with her "Wendy Williams Experience" during her Alize tour.
She's hitting the road for Alize under the new campaign, aptly titled Alize LIVE! Presents "The Wendy Williams Experience." It's a five-city national tour that features some of today's hottest names in urban entertainment, headlined by Cole and including Ne-Yo, Kindred the Family Soul, and comedian T.K. Kirkland, among others. The appearances are to be a mix of concert, party, and adult playground--and recreate Williams' radio show "The Wendy Williams Experience" on stage. During the show, Williams plays host to a variety of acts while sipping on Alize cocktails (also being enjoyed by the audience). There was even a new cocktail created for the tour--The Experience, made with Red Passion and Champagne.
Before we hightailed it out in the early morning hours, we grabbed a giveaway folder of DVD featuring Williams' Alize behind-the-scenes photo shoot. A bottle of Alize would have been better! --Jaleesa Brown
NYC GETS INSPIRED
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in NYC was the location a jammed-pack reception and audio screening event for Inspired By…The Bible Experience, a dramatized reenactment of the text of the New Testament read by some 200 actors--yes 200. Denzel Washington, Blair Underwood, Yolanda Adams, Tichina Arnold, James Avery, Angela Bassett, Ruby Dee, and Charles Dutton are just a few of the notables on the CD, which went on sale Oct. 1. Directed by Chip Hurd (mother of Kim Fields) and Robi Reed as one of the executive producers, the project has high-profile cache. In fact, among the hosts for the event was Dawn Hill, The American Women in Television and Radio. --J.B.
LA WEEKLY GETS ITS GROOVE ON WITH THE DEBUT DETOUR MUSIC FESTIVAL
Saturday, October 7th was a rare day in L.A.--A day void of Hollywood stars, where music took the spotlight. The reason: LA Weekly's 1st Annual Detour Music Festival. And quite a fest it was. Teaming up with concert promoters Golenvoice, the day-long festival of music, food, art, and information was the first of its kind to bring together a diverse assortment of talent from locally and abroad. Proceeds from the gala benefited Tree People (http://www.treepeople.org/), a nature preservation nonprofit organization. The event was held in Downtown L.A. around City Hall on a perfect-weather day. With three stages, dozens vendors, art installations of local artist and DJs, there was plenty to do and see. Some of the bands who performed were Beck, Basement Jaxx, Queens of the Stone Age and L.A.'s Everybody Else. What I couldn't help but notice was the lack of bands of color. Other than Oakland's finest Blackalicious (www.blackalicious.com) who put on a pretty damn good, almost totally freestyle set, it was pretty much an all-white affair. Now come on folks, I'm sure there are plenty of tree loving, tree hugging alternative black bands and artists out there in the L.A. area and abroad. All in all the festival was a good start, and hopefully as they expand next year they'll be able to incorporate more "diversity." --Anthony Davis
SHOUT OUT TO MR. A-LIST GIL ROBERTSON, TRAVELING MAN ANTHONY DAVIS, CELEB INTERVIEWER SAMANTHA OFOLE, AND MS. EVENTS JALEESA BROWN.